COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus, has been completely dominating the news lately and you must have heard about the term Coronavirus during the outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003. However, both COVID-19 and SARS are results of coronavirus as the virus which causes SARS is known as SARS-CoV, while the virus that causes COVID-19 is known as SARS-CoV-2. No doubt, their names are similar, but these two have various differences and here is a guide that can help you to differentiate between both the terms.
What to know about coronavirus?
Coronaviruses have a wide range family of viruses and a large host range which includes humans as well, but the greatest density of Coronavirus is mainly seen in bats. Mainly, the human coronaviruses cause mild respiratory illness in which they suffer from the common cold and a new type of coronavirus emerges when an animal coronavirus develops an ability to transmit a disease to humans. Coronaviruses that jump to the human hosts mainly cause serious illness and it can result from various factors, particularly from the lack of human immunity to the new virus.
What to know about SARS?
SARS is the also a name of respiratory illness that is caused by SARS-CoV and the outbreak of SARS lasted from late 2002 to mid-2003. During that time, thousands of people were sickened and hundreds of them died – its origin is thought to be bats. The first symptom of SARS is fever, which is then accompanied by various other symptoms such as –
- Body aches or pains
COVID-19 and SARS – How do they differ?
COVID-19 and SARS are similar in various ways which are discussed as below –
- These are respiratory illnesses resulted from Coronavirus.
- These are believed to be originated in bats and transmitted through an intermediate host.
- Both are caused by respiratory droplets that are produced when a person with the virus coughs or sneezes, or comes in contact with other contaminated objects.
- Both can cause serious illness.
- Both do not have any specific treatments or vaccines.
However, both the viruses are similar in many ways but these can differ according to the symptoms. The symptoms of COVID-19 and SARS are almost similar but there are some of the subtle differences –
shortness of breath
shortness of breath
|runny or stuffy nose,
body aches and pains,
Will COVID-19 last longer than SARS?
SARS was successfully ended with the use of public health measures which include early detection of the case, contact tracing, and social distancing. However, some factors contribute to the longevity of COVID-19 which includes the following –
- Various people with COVID-19 suffer from mild illness and among them; some people do not even know that they are sick which makes it harder to detect the infected and healthy person.
- People suffering from COVID-19 shed the virus earlier in terms of their infection as compared to the people with SARS which makes it difficult to determine who has a virus and cure them before they spread it to others.
- COVID-19 is not increasingly spreading within the communities and it was not there in the case of SARS.
- COVID-19 is merely spreading across the globe within the regions and countries.
COVID-19 and SARS are both caused by a coronavirus and the viruses causing illnesses have mainly originated in animals before they are transmitted to humans through an intermediate host. However, there are various similarities between both but they have some differences as well, COVID-19 can be from mild to severe and spreads more easily, while SARS cases were more severe.
COVID-19 can be more challenging to deal with as these spreads more easily and has already resulted in thousands of deaths but till now no treatment is there.